Spanish researchers have developed and patented a nanofluid that offers as much as 30% better conductivity than its base heat transfer fluid while maintaining the operating temperature range of that fluid. The team in the multiphase fluid research group at Universitat Jaume I, Castelló de la Plana, achieved the enhanced performance by adding nanoparticles made of carbon and stabilizers to a conventional diphenyl/diphenyl-oxide heat transfer fluid. The nanoparticles are inexpensive. Incorporating them should incur an incremental cost of less than €1/liter (<$4.65/gallon) or under 5% of the cost of the base fluid, notes José Enrique Juliá Bolivar, a professor of fluid mechanics at the university. Moreover, nanoparticle addition can upgrade existing heat transfer systems, he says. “Almost any current heat transfer fluid with a working temperature up to 400°C can be upgraded with our method. In addition, standard pumping and piping systems can be used.”
Figure 1. Spanish team uses nanoparticles to improve the performance of heat transfer fluids. Source: José Enrique Juliá Bolivar, Universitat Jaume I.